Key Strategies to Define Your Social Media Story

Aaron McHugh

How do you determine which story you want to tell?   

On which channel(s)?  To which audience(s)?  

I’ve found if you ask ten people, you will receive ten different answers.

Here are the key questions that I started with and continue to revisit.

  1. Where do I want to tell my professional Story?  Personal Story?
  2. Do I have distinct boundaries delineating each Social channel?
  3. Do I combine them into a soup and they all intersect with each other?

What are you trying to accomplish using Social Media?

When I first started engaging with Social Media it was a result of peer pressure from a good friend @JonDale.  In his words this is the way the world works, get on-board or be left behind.

Am I trying to communicate strictly for fun with some friends about where I ate and what movie I liked?

Or am I trying to communicate thought provoking ideas and solutions to business problems?

Today, I have settled on a combination of both.

The pendulum of my Social Voice has settled toward thoughtful business ideas and innovations with a dash of personal interactions.

Which channels are reserved for different conversations?


This channel for me remains predominately reserved for personal interactions with people I know.  If it were not for Facebook I would not be connected to people from High School, College and previous eras of life.

I never got involved in Multi-Level Marketing because I wanted my friends to be my friends and not my prospects.  I do include an occasional Blog post but generally I stick to personal topics.

Intersection of Professional & Personal

I am very aware of my professional relationships encountering my Facebook presence.  Therefore I generally don’t venture into any deeply personal topics in the open forum.


In the same manner that I have chosen to keep Facebook for predominately personal interactions, LinkedIn is reserved for my professional relationships.  When I hear a speaker at a conference, previous co-workers or a new prospective customer, this is a great channel to maintain those connections.

I choose to add status updates related to professional topics: new customer’s we acquired, new job openings we have and some peppering of Blog posts added.

Primarily I have grown to rely on this channel as a professional rolodex.  It has become less about what we talk about and more about who I know and want to get to know.


This is my “HomeBase” as @MichaelHyatt calls it in his book Platform.  I control the interactions, the topics, the branding and the discussion.  The commitment level of up keeping this channel is much greater than on any of the other Social channels.

The beauty of this channel is the clarity of message you can control.  And yet if no one reads it then your level of influence is zero.

I have found that regardless of the perceived value of your content this channel must be marketed.

At the end of the day my goal is to create a level of influence in the Social dialogue about topics of building your own brand, entrepreneurship, getting started, and pursuing your inner Art.

For many this channel may start out being your smallest in terms of reach.  However, this channel is made up of allies.

This is your Tribe.  These are your people.  You think alike.  You talk alike.  You learn from each other.

Getting wrapped up in the numbers is less important than being regularly engaged.

Twitter-broadcast channel

Early on I was misinformed about my beliefs about Twitter.  I thought it was simply another tool for someone to show pictures of their cat in dress up clothes.  Yeah, I know…..who does that?

I spent over ten years in the broadcast media industry.  Today, I see Twitter like owning your own TV/Radio station.  Just like viewership or listeners, they are accumulated over years of curating quality content and connections.

My recent sentiment is to reject the “you follow me, I’ll follow you” nicety.  It seems like a willful resignation to receive spam on topics that you would never subscribe to.

Over time, you and I can become micro-brands broadcasting specialized content to engaged tribe members.

The best answer I received on this question was from @Webtherapist.  I am happy to share her insights.  Just ask.

How have you segmented your Social Voice?  I’d love to hear your story here.

6 thoughts on “Key Strategies to Define Your Social Media Story

  1. Ok, so am I the only one who clicked on the sharing links at the top of the page wanting to share this post only to find out it was just a picture?

    I’m continually adjusting the balance here. I try to be myself everywhere I go…both online and off.

    I do more personal and much less business related stuff on facebook. Although I still have friends who thank me in person for linking to interesting blog posts on facebook…in a sea of family pictures some of that content seems to be refreshing.

    I guess my general rule is to treat others the way I’d like to be treated. Same applies on social platforms.

  2. Jon
    Yeah…the picture of the social icons is deceiving. On my new blog site, coming soon, it will be wired up with the social buttons. I like your thoughts on Facebook posts as a refreshing contrast to family dog photos.

  3. Great description of finding your voice and choosing your channels. I’m still trying to build the case for Twitter … I see a very narrow group that can really leverage it for value. I’m sold as a channel to gain information FROM (monitoring for your brand), but posting TO is a different story …

    I see you have left out Google+ … just curious, what are your thoughts there?

    Always enjoy reading your posts Aaron. Keep them coming.

  4. Mark-thanks for your thoughts. I too was not a believer in Twitter. I thought it was a channel full of self promotion and pictures of what people ate for lunch.

    That was not entirely true. The benefit of using Twitter is the ability to 1) setup up a digest list of trusted sources (From). 2) create a group of like minded, like thinking tribesmen in order to exchange ideas together. As they are sweeping and finding interesting tools, content, people, ideas, so are you. 3) the more you engage with offering the more you receive. 4) Twitter rewards thought leaders more than than if you are only a subscriber to the content.
    Google + I am a newbie. Still trying to flush this channel out. I do not have any expertise or even strong suspicions just yet. Am open to an education if you can help.

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